Is one of these stereotypes destroying your career?

November 2, 2014
Stereotypes are everywhere in today's society. Whether you're old or young, fat or thin, single or married, there are always people who will make a snap judgement based solely on what they'd expect most people in your situation to be like. On the one hand there's no smoke without fire, so for a stereotype to have been formed in the first place there must be a significant proportion of people in a certain group acting a certain way. On the other hand, generalising a whole demographic and tarring everyone with the same brush has absolutely no bearing on what kind of person the individual actually is.

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But like or lump it, stereotypes exist and if left unchecked they can have a serious effect on your career - especially in the workplace. Here are three generational stereotypes people might make about you, and how to prove them wrong: Generation Y [caption id="attachment_10308" align="alignnone" width="956"]Mark Zuckerberg Gen Y He's a fully fledged member of Gen Y, but you're not likely to meet a harder working person than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.[/caption] If you were born between the early 1980s to the late 1990s, you may find yourself being bundled into the catch-all bracket of Generation Y. Often described as a 'Millennial', you're accused of lacking motivation, a chronic addiction to computer games and having an expectation that the world should be handed to you on a plate, which means that some employers are reluctant to give you a chance. If you were born in this generation, it's important to show that you're not like the above - you do have the motivation and drive to succeed and you don't expect to be given an easy ride. To cast off this label, take on extra work, attend evening and weekend events and always deliver on deadlines. Generation X [caption id="attachment_10314" align="alignnone" width="957"]Larry Page Gen X Google CEO Larry Page is living proof that Gen X can embrace technology.[/caption] If you were born between the early '60s and '80s, you're within the prime age range belonging to Generation X. Often characterised as being cynical and carrying anxiety about anything you do, when it comes to a job that's forward thinking or technology related, you're not necessarily the hottest property for employers. The key to success for this generation is proving that you have moved with the times, you have embraced technology and you don't treat anything new with cynicism. Sign-up to online newsletters to keep abreast of the latest goings on in your industry, and if your IT skills aren't up to date, go on a class to bring them up to scratch. Baby Boomer [caption id="attachment_10315" align="alignnone" width="956"]Donald Trump Baby Boomer He may be pushing 70, but nobody is dethroning Donald Trump any time soon.[/caption] A member of what is perhaps the original generation, you were born some time after the Second World War but before the 1960s. You're thought of as idealistic and open-minded, and you may well have risen to the top in your profession. However, as you get older, the younger generation is eager to see you call time on your career so they can replace you. While you may well be ready to take a back seat after years of hard work, it's important to show you still have the nous and the knowledge to remain at the top. Embrace technology, keep fit and healthy, and there's no reason why you can't stay in the box seat for years to come.